Sweet Pea Crunch Salad
A crunchy green salad to celebrate the arrival of spring! Serve it with protein if you like, but it's a fresh meal all on its own!
Well, we thought we had the start of a warm and sunny spring – but alas, the rain is back. My red rainboots got a good workout today. Truly, it’s a good thing. Too little rain this spring in Portland would mean a much, much drier and less fertile gardening season. And the plants are already loving it- I planted some early peas, radishes and arugula and they are growing like crazy. I’m so excited about spring produce.
Speaking of, I love a good plate of vegetables without a lot of fuss. Especially if it’s accompanied by some good cheese and high quality olive oil. You can pair this dish with just about anything. a grain salad, a meat entree if you’re into that, or my favorite addition: a fried egg. Tonight we had it alongside some lentils and rice, and a fresh mozzarella toast with tomato confit. And most of that was leftovers! It was a delicious home meal.
When I was in New Orleans last week, I had a solo dinner out where I ate a plate of gulf fish and rice that was covered in toasty almonds. I’ve been thinking about how I can use them at home ever since. I know they aren’t a culinary revelation. But they are certainly underutilized.
I think it’s the little details that really bring your home cooking to the next level. Not necessarily a long process or an expensive ingredient. Just knowing what you’ve got and how to use it.
Here’s what you need:
1 bunch broccoli rabe/rapini (exactly how much isn’t important)
1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. best quality olive oil (recommended: Red Ridge Farms olive oil)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the broccoli rabe for about one minute, then drain.
Roughly chop the broccoli rabe into thirds(ish), then toss in vegetable oil and liberally salt. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces the stems.
While the veggies roast, toast the almonds in a small skillet, tossing occasionally, just until the almonds become fragrant.
Move the broccoli rabe onto your serving plate and sprinkle with tons of Parmesan, toasted almonds, the high quality olive oil, and a little extra salt for good measure.